This animation combines two images of the trench informally named "Snow White" taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander on July 21, 2008, during the lander's 56th Martian day, or sol, since landing.
The earlier Sol 56 image is the one without a shadow falling across the lower right corner of the image. It was taken after Phoenix had used its motorized rasp to get some material from the trench into the scoop on the lander's robotic arm. The later Sol 56 image was taken after the arm had scraped clean an area that includes the rasping site.
The trench is about 23 centimeters (9 inches) wide. These images were taken through the camera's red filter.
The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.
Photojournal Note: As planned, the Phoenix lander, which landed May 25, 2008 23:53 UTC, ended communications in November 2008, about six months after landing, when its solar panels ceased operating in the dark Martian winter.